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Retailers urged to scrap electronic card minimum spend

POS, credit card, payment, shopperAustralian businesses are missing up to 40 per cent of potential customers by not offering card payment options for low-value transactions, a study commissioned by MasterCard revealed.

The study, which questioned 1010 Australian cardholders, found that consumers are increasingly aggravated when they need to pay cash for smaller purchases or where there is a minimum spend requirement. About 80 per cent said they resent restrictions such as paying a fee for smaller transactions; 62 per cent find it frustrating when they can’t use cards for small transactions and 44 per cent avoid shops that do not allow the use of cards for small transactions.

“The research found that two in five Australian cardholders say they avoid shops that don’t allow them to use cards for transactions,” said MasterCard head of market development and innovation, Garry Duursma. “This means retailers who impose a minimum spend for consumers using a card are potentially losing out on a staggering 40 per cent of customers.”

With younger consumers, more than 70 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds prefer to use cards for small transactions, which they indicated, is much more convenient than carrying small change. About 54 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds actively avoid shops that do not accept cards for small transactions.

“This research reinforces the need for retailers to listen to consumers and make purchasing from them as easy as possible,” said Australian Retailers Association executive director, Russell Zimmerman.

“To stay competitive and relevant as Australians increasingly turn to payment methods other than cash, retailers of all sizes should offer customers the convenience and choice they seek. In return they should be able to deliver additional value back to their bottom line,” Zimmerman said.

Australian payment providers recently unveiled a campaign for a Zero Dollar Minimum encouraging retailers to provide customers the choice to make cashless transactions with no restrictions.

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